School of Engineering Equality Diversity and Inclusion
athena swan bronze

Athena Swan Bronze

The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics was awarded an Athena Swan Bronze award in October 2020 which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to advancing gender equality and success for all.

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Case studies

News

2024

May 2024
Registered supporter of the London Mathematical Society Good Practice Scheme
As of May 2024, The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics is registered as a supporter of the London Mathematical Society Good Practice Scheme which shows our commitment to working towards addressing the under-representation of women in mathematics in higher education. The School has committed to five principles of good practice:
  • A robust organisational framework to deliver equality of opportunity and reward. 
  • Appointment, promotion and selection processes and procedures that encourage men and women to apply for academic posts at all levels. 
  • Departmental structures and systems which enable men and women to progress and continue in their careers. 
  • Departmental organisation, structure, management arrangements and culture that are open, inclusive and transparent and encourage the participation of all staff. 
  • Flexible approaches and provisions that encompass the working day, the working year and a working life and enable individuals, at all career and life stages, to maximise their contribution to mathematics, their department and institution. 
April 2024 

Royal Academy of Engineering Diversity Impact Programme

STEM Mentoring Project in Africa

2023

January 2023 

Inclusive culture training

A guest speaker, Dr Mark McBride-Wright from EqualEngineers, delivered Inclusive Culture Training for staff during the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics Planning Day in January 2023. The theme of the training was ‘Embedding Systemic Inclusion for Neurodiverse and Disabled Engineering Students’, with the aim of promoting inclusive teaching, learning and assessment. The training also addressed matters highlighted by the 2021/22 EDI staff survey, to improve and promote the use of inclusive language. Staff were involved in group discussions to consider what actions the School can take to enhance its inclusive culture. The collective feedback will be reviewed by the School EDI Committee to support our Athena Swan agenda.
The inclusive culture training is part of the Royal Academy Engineering funded project “Embedding Systemic Inclusion for Neurodiverse and Disabled Engineering Students” led by Dr Asiya Khan, Associate Head of School for Teaching and Learning.
February 2023

Student EDI introduction training 

Emily Bradley Senior Administrator for EDI in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, and Margaret Russell, Lecturer in English as a Foreign Language, delivered an EDI Introduction and UK Academic Culture session for a cohort of MSc Data Science and Business Analytics students in February 2023. The session was organised by Dr Luciana Dalla Valle, Associate Professor of Data Science and Statistics, following feedback she received from her students. There are plans to deliver this session to all PGT cohorts in the next academic year in order to raise awareness of EDI and support students’ understanding of culture, conduct and language in UK academia. 
March 2023

Mentoring future women graduates in STEM in Africa

Dr Boksun Kim at SECaM has been awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Seed Funding to empower future women graduates in STEM in Africa by training and mentoring. She and Miss Pippa Waller from the Careers Service will travel to Africa in early April to host workshops to train 40 final year female students in STEM at Addis Ababa Science and Technology University in Ethiopia and Makerere University in Uganda.  
Working with collaborators, Dr Kim is seeking international volunteers in STEM, who can mentor the final year female students. If you are interested, please join us on LinkedIn, Women in STEM in Africa and take a part in this survey to become a mentor.

Athena Swan Charter Principles talk

Emily Bradley, Senior Administrator for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, delivered a presentation about the Athena Swan Charter in the March 2023 SECaM all school meeting. The presentation explained the purpose and importance of Athena Swan and EDI activities, gave an overview of the eight charter principles and an update on the progress of implementing the SECaM Athena Swan 2020 Bronze action plan. Staff were also informed about several ways they can get involved in EDI work within the school and wider university. 

GEM award to Staff Co-Chair of Student EDIC

Anna Fisker Hansen, a SECaM Technician, received a ‘Going the Extra Mile’ (GEM) award in recognition of her work in organising a SECaM EDI event for student inclusion. The GEM award scheme recognises the achievements of professional services or technical staff members, celebrating their team or individual excellence associated with a non-routine or unique task. The scheme rewards tasks accomplished successfully, especially by means of exertion, skill, practice, or perseverance.

Notable British Pakistani academic 

Dr Asiya Khan has been selected for UPSIGN’s (UK-Pakistan Science and Innovation Global Network) 2022/23 list of 75 notable British Pakistani academics, trainers and teachers. The UPSIGN charity works globally to promote mentoring, supporting and educating UK-based British Pakistanis (and Pakistanis) and highlighting their work in education and academia. Read the 2022/23 list of 75 notable British Pakistani academics, trainers and teachers.

Staff wellbeing notice boards 

The Faculty Wellbeing Team in collaboration with the SECaM School Office, have set up staff wellbeing notice boards in Portland Square, Kirkby Place and Reynolds. These boards provide information about university support services, wellbeing tips and upcoming events. The aim of the notice boards is to raise awareness of wellbeing support available for staff and encourage staff to make positive changes. If you have any suggestions for the notice boards, please email secamexecsupport@plymouth.ac.uk.
April 2023

The Inclusive Engineering Conference

The Inclusive Engineering Conference, organised by Dr Asiya Khan, Dr Liz Hodgkinson and Tetiana Buzykina, took place on 26 April 2023. The conference showcased some of the fantastic work from the Royal Academy Engineering (RAEng) funded project “Embedding Systemic Inclusion for Neurodiverse and Disabled Engineering Students”. We welcomed many guest speakers including Dr Mark McBride-Wright from Equal Engineers who gave a talk on ‘How Psychological Safety is Key in Enabling the Diverse Engineering Workforce of Tomorrow’.  The student EDI committee chair, Semben Masudi, and some fellow SECaM students shared their experiences of inclusivity within the school and the RAEng mentoring project. Our ‘Inclusive Cultures in Engineering Employers Panel’ from Babcock and the Met Office answered some interesting questions about their organisations’ culture and policy. View the Inclusive Engineering Conference programme.
July 2023

School Planning Day – Athena Swan and EDI Update

During the School Planning day on 5 July 2023, Dr Yinghui Wei SECaM Lead for EDI and Athena Swan, gave an overview of EDI activities for the 2022–23 academic year and outlined the award criteria and discussed strategies and plan for SECaM Athena Swan silver submission. The feedback from the Inclusive Cultures Training was shared with actions that have been completed so far, such as recognising staff achievements/contributions in the school newsletter. Staff were then invited to discuss and share what solutions they would like to see in order to address the issues raised. The aim of this exercise was to encourage staff to speak up about their experience of EDI in the school and involve them in planning discussions. Highlighted initiatives included student EDI introduction pilot session, SECaM staff social events, and inviting technicians to attend graduation ceremony.

PGT EDI Survey

55 postgraduate students completed the SECaM PGT EDI survey between June and July 2023. The results of the survey were very positive with 97% agreeing that they are treated fairly and respectfully on their course and 91% feel that SECaM have a strong commitment to EDI. Respondents left some helpful suggestions for improving the inclusivity of the School which the EDI Committee will discuss. Of those respondents who attended the EDI Introduction/UK Academic Culture session in February 2023, 100% said their understanding of EDI and UK academic culture had improved. Of those respondents who did not attend, 55% would like to attend an EDI session and 63% would like to attend a UK Academic Culture session. The session will be delivered in induction week to Undergraduate students and will be repeated for postgraduate students in SECaM.

2022

June 2022

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion/Athena Swan update 

Dr Yinghui Wei, SECaM Lead for EDI and Athena Swan, presented an overview of EDI and Athena Swan updates at the SECaM Planning Day on 4 July 2022. Recent actions included staff EDI survey data collection and review, student focus group and survey design, annual monitoring of equality data, annual promotion workshop and including technicians at graduation ceremony. She presented staff and student equality data, results from staff EDI survey, and from the annual promotion workshop, and discussed priority areas for the ongoing EDI work.
November 2022

Student EDI Committee 

SECaM have re-established their Student EDI Committee which launched on 23 November 2022. 
This student-led EDI committee exists to support the School EDI Committee in promoting equality and eliminating discrimination, providing a mechanism for students to share their priorities and an opportunity to lead student initiatives and activities as they relate to EDI matters.
This year, the SECaM student EDI committee Co-Chair is Semben Masudi and the Staff Co-Chair is Anna Fisker Hansen. 
“I look forward to working with Semben and the rest of the committee. Together, we will drive positive change for equality and inclusion.”
Anna Fisker Hansen
May 2022

2021

June 2021

Top 50 Women in Engineering

Professor Alison Raby has been named by the Women’s Engineering Society as a recipient of its Top 50 Women in Engineering: Engineering Heroes awards. The Women in Engineering awards celebrate women who have made a significant contribution to helping their organisation, community or indeed the world during the last year. Professor Raby is one of the world’s leading experts on how extreme waves and coastal flooding impact coastal structures. Read more about her achievements
April 2021

SECaM Student EDIC Women in STEM webinar 

The SECaM Student EDI Committee organised a Women in STEM webinar in April 2021 with two guest speakers; Sophie Harker, Senior Aerodynamicist at BAE Systems, and Hazel Atkins, BMT Senior Data Scientist and chair of the WISE Young Professionals Board. The event aimed to encourage female students to explore careers in STEM and provided the opportunity to ask questions about career paths and progression.
March 2021

LMS Women in Mathematics Day

The LMS Women in Mathematics Day was held on 24 March 2021, organised by Dr Yinghui Wei, Dr Nathan Broomhead, Dr Colin Christopher and Dr Daniel Robertz. This virtual event was funded by the London Mathematical Society and Royal Statistical Society, aiming to promote interest and careers in mathematics for women. The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Plymouth, Professor Judith Petts CBE, gave a welcoming address to open the event. Talks were given by six female speakers from both academia and industry who were in a range of career stages across mathematics and statistics. The event also hosted a poster competition open to female mathematicians at undergraduate and graduate levels as well as early career researchers. Towards the end of the event, all invited speakers were panellists in the career development panel discussion, chaired by Dr Yinghui Wei. There were interesting discussions on how to attract young women to study mathematics, their professional progression, opportunities of academic life and work-life balance. Recordings from the event can be accessed on YouTube.
For more information about this event, please visit the LMS Women in Mathematics Day 2021 website. 

2020

June 2020

Top 50 Women in Engineering 

Professor Deborah Greaves OBE has been listed by the Women’s Engineering Society among its Top 50 Women in Engineering: Sustainability. The awards seek to recognise the wealth of female talent within engineering and related disciplines and highlights the opportunities available to engineers of the future. Deborah is a world-leading authority on offshore renewable energy, working in the sector for more than two decades and has pioneered the development of novel types of wave energy converter, analysis methods for offshore renewable energy farms, and extreme wave-structure interactions. Read more about her achievements
November 2020